Spiny Orb Weaver Spider
Gasteracantha cancriformis
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  The spiny orb weaver spider is not as large as some of the other common orb weavers. The combination of color, shape, and web characteristics make this spider one of the most conspicuous of spiders. The colloquial name for this spider is "crab spider," although it is not related to any of the spiders commonly called crab spiders. This species belongs to a pantropical genus which contains many species throughout the world, but this is the only species of its genus to occur in the southern United States. The bite of this spider is not known to cause any serious effects to humans.
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This species can be easily distinguished from all other spiders. Females may be 1/4 inch long and slightly less than 1/2 inch wide. They have 6 pointed projections that are referred to as spines. The carapace, legs, and venter are black, with some white spots on the underside. The dorsum of the abdomen is typically white with black spots and red spines, and some local specimens may have yellow instead of white on the abdominal dorsum, and may also have black spines instead of red. Some may be almost entirely black dorsally and ventrally. Males are much smaller than females; the male's color is usually white on the abdomen with gray and white spots. The large abdominal spines are missing, although there are 4 or 5 small humps on the posterior. The two specimens pictured above are female.
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